Agri Forum Pakistan (AFP) Chairman and analyst Dr Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal, strongly condemning India for escalating tension on frontiers and releasing excess water into rivers without intimation to Pakistan, has said India is trying to destroy important cash crops of Pakistan standing on 6.5 million acres of land through water bomb.
In a statement issued here on Saturday, Mughal said that Cotton, Rice and Sugarcane are important cash crops of Pakistan and contribute to the national exports too. He said cotton crop is standing over 3 million acres of land, rice on 2.5 million acres and sugarcane on one million acres which was damaged due to water released by India. He said damage caused to Pakistan’s agriculture due to this flood water is estimated at Rs 300 billion.
However, he said India who was already trying to steal Pakistan’s share of water in rivers through construction of illegal dams on different rivers in areas under its control, is now releasing the additional water coming to the river system because of current spell of torrential rains not only to get away with it but also to destroy the agricultural sector of Pakistan.
Mughal feared that ruining of cotton and rice means a serious decrease in Pakistan’s exports and all would happen due to use of water bomb by India. He said decrease in exports would add to the trade deficit and it may go beyond US $20 billion dollars. He said cotton is raw material for our most important industry textile which constitutes 63 per cent of total national exports.
Damage to this important crop means further hardships for this sector which was already facing numerous challenges, he added. He said India had already caused heavy loss to Pakistani rice by buying it from our traders on throwaway prices and later selling it as Indian rice in the international market on higher prices. He was of the view that after damaging this crop it would have a chance to launch propaganda that Pakistan was not a rice producing country. While damage to sugarcane crop might lead to shortage of sugar in the country, Mughal said.
Agri Forum Chairman alleged that India was trying to destroy each and every symbol of unity and pride in Pakistan. It is evident from the fact that it managed attack on GHQ, Naval and Air force basis of Pakistan. He alleged that India was also supporting insurgency in Balochistan and FATA and stealing Pakistan’s share of water aimed at turning fertile lands into barren areas. India launched 5th generation war against Pakistan, he claimed.
However, he was perturbed and astonished that no Pakistani had courage to say a word against India. He also criticised the elements present in the current government, bureaucracy and other segments of the society who were trying to give Most Favourite Nation (MFN) status to most lethal enemy. This is a unique case in the world, he said and demanded that the government should calculate the damage caused by India by releasing water in Sutluj, Chenab and Bias Rivers and take the nation in to confidence over the issue. Agri Forum Chairman also demanded that the issue should be debated in the parliament.